Ben McAdoo is out. The Giants are moving on from their head coach in the midst of a 2-10 season, and he may not be the last firing of the season. The Giants have been bad this year, no denying that, and are at a massive crossroads in their franchise. McAdoo leaving is a step, but whomever is chosen as a replacement will have to make massive decisions for this franchise is the coming years.
On the positive, the Giants are one of the best organizations in sports. A tradition and culture of success, the clearly established “big brother” football team in the largest media market, and a scandal-free legacy all make the Giants an attractive destination. But in their current state, the Giants need a confident leader to guide them into the next era of their franchise.
The obvious questions are on offense, where the Giants must deal with both an aging star and one of the game’s brightest. Eli Manning isn’t done playing football, and this offseason will determine how the Giants handle the twilight of Manning’s legendary career. When that is resolved, they can turn their attention to Odell Beckham Jr. who, before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, was backing up talk that he deserves to be not just the highest paid player at his position, but the highest paid player in the league.
On defense, the Giants have spent a ton of money to be average. Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Olivier Vernon were all expensive adds, and all have shown their age over the past year. The Giants have a decent core of young players on that defense including B.J. Goodson and Landon Collins, but the defense has allowed at least 24 points in all but four games this season.
So that’s what this new guy is inheriting. In my opinion, the Giants will look to an offensive mind to guide the young quarterback they plan on selecting. So based on that wild guess, here are three coaches I could see running the Giants’ sideline next season:
1. Josh McDaniels
The logical choice, Patriots OC McDaniels has the pedigree and the previous experience. His stock took a hit when he was verbally abused by Tom Brady on Sunday, but the Patriots offense has been a juggernaut long enough for some of the credit to rub off on McDaniels. He was hired by the Broncos at 33, and went 11-17 before being fired amidst a 3-9 sophomore effort. He’s a solid offensive mind and exactly what the Giants need, but is he too important for the Patriots to let go?
2. Jim Bob Cooter
Coach Cooter. Let that sink in.
JBC was promoted from Lions QB coach to OC in 2015, and the Lions have performed reasonably well over the past few years. That’s led to Cooter’s name being used in the HBO Show Ballers when discussing coaching candidates, so he might as well be a good fit for the Giants. Cooter is essentially the same hire as McAdoo: hire the guy who told the very good QB to not throw interceptions. Similar to McAdoo’s Packers, the Lions can’t really run the ball. That makes Cooter the leading candidate for the job and the most likely to be hired.
3. Dave Toub
Toub is the Chiefs special teams coordinator, and he interviewed for both the Chargers and Broncos job in the offseason. He didn’t get either, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a qualified candidate. Here’s my angle: the last special teams coordinator to get an NFL head coaching gig is John Harbaugh. He’s a pretty good coach. If Toub is as good as Harbaugh, the Giants should hire him.
4. Harold Goodwin
This is my actual pick. A big fan of Bruce Arians coaching style, one of his coordinators Jets coach Todd Bowles) has already turned into a pretty good NFL head coach. The Cardinals have a solid offense, have been moving the ball with Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback, and have an aggressive style that isn’t seen enough. Goodwin is 43, has tons of experience under Arians, and has worked with a truly appalling group of quarterbacks during his time in the dessert. I don’t want the guy that makes the stars look like stars; I want the coach that makes Blaine Gabbert win football games.
Other names I like: